Tag Archives: being a Dad

Who is the best at giving hugs?

My young daughter swerves by me and stubs her toe on a door.  I hold out my arms to give her a big hug and…she hops straight past.

Hops all the way down the hall.

Hops into the kitchen…yelling for Mum.

I follow and see her get a big cuddle and lots of sympathy. Then she looks round and flashes a cheeky grin. “Hey,” I say, “you ran right past me. I was going to give you a big hug.”

“Sorry, Dad, but you’re too bony – even though you’ve got a big fat belly. Mum’s way better at giving me cuddles.”

“What am I good for?” I ask, with a mock glum face.

“Well, I like it when you pretend to be a robot and run after me. And you’re pretty good at doing voices. Yeah, I like it when you read to me at night and do your Winnie the Pooh voice. Can you do it now?”

“Ummm, Uhhh, Nope – I don’ttt think so.”


“I think she’s feeling okay now,” says Mum.

“My foot still hurts a bit,” says the wee girl, angling for more attention. 

“Come to Dad and get a big hug,” I say, crouching down and stretching my arms wide.

“No – that’s Mum’s job. Your job is to tell me jokes and…”


“Do the washing up. Pick up after me and Mum. Keep the house tidy and make cookies. You are the best in the world – ever – at making cookies, especially the big chocolate ones. Can you make them now?”

“It’s late. How about I make them tomorrow? How about I make Yorkshire Puddings? You used to call them Orchard Puddings when you were wee.”

“No Dad. Mum is the best at Yorkshires. [pause] But you are the best at pancakes.”

“It’s the same stuff!” I protest.

“Look. Sometimes you are okay at Yorkshires too.”

“What about hugs?”

She thinks. “Yes. But not if I’m really hurt because then I just have to go to Mum – it’s the law. Unless Mum’s not here then I’ll come to you. Don’t worry, Dad. I still love you.”

She starts running off.

“I can see your leg’s better now.”

And accidentally catches her shoulder on the door.

“Ow! That was your fault, Dad.”

“What? Why? How?!”

“Well, I get my cleverness and hair from Mum.”


“And I get clumsiness from you! It’s okay. I know you didn’t mean to give it to me.”

And off she goes with a grin…

to cuddle the dog!

“Skye gives the best hugs in this house!”

cuddle dog alan dapre















Why it’s great to be a Dad :)

Life is different when you have a child. It means finally growing up and taking responsibility for someone else. Someone who needs love, affection and to be shown the right developmental path. You want a well rounded, caring, thoughtful, enquiring, active and loving child? Well, you have to get off your well rounded derriere and make it so. Boldly going where no Dad has gone before.

No one warns you that boys and girls are capable of filling nappies at warp speed, that they ask questions just as fast. That they are capable of rational and irrational thought at the same time. That for them no means yes. Their emotional filters are tainted by the way you see the world so you have to get it right first time (or second), or at least admit you’re mistakes and show that it is noble to try and fail than never try at all.

Parents create wee human sponges. Sponges that drip and dribble on a new carpet, and squeeze out fat tears when they don’t get their own way.

We don’t get a manual – and if I did I’d throw it out the window (like that damned Gina Ford book about baby routines that turns Mums into insecure wrecks and Dads into peripheral figures).

So after saying all that, why is it great to have a kid? Some reasons spring to mind.

>They say funny observational things – such as, ‘Dad, why do your ears look upside-down?’

>They get you to look at ordinary things in an extraordinary way. We have great conversations about the things we see in clouds or the grain markings on floor boards. Our maple floor in the hall features the face of a sealion, and the blokes’ loos in Glasgow’s Ikea has the face of Jesus on the door.

2008 Jesus Ikea Alan Dapre

Jesus in Ikea?
Photo by Alan Dapre

>They ask questions that get you thinking such as – how do the pictures on the DVD get into the TV? Why does the Earth spin? Why is your belly so fat?

>They say ‘I love you’ at unexpected times.

>They hug you tight and you are aware of your responsibility to keep them safe. This happened today during a swim session where my daughter was trusting enough to remove her armbands and have a go at swimming unaided on the shallow steps, with me in very close proximity.

>They show great compassion towards small creatures, warning of ants and beetles that you might have accidentally stepped on.

>They invent words. I was tired and she came up with the word ‘Shackered.’  I said,’ What like Shattered?’ ‘No, like knackered…’ came the cheeky reply.

>They are strongly opinionated. Recently my Scots born daughter was adamant that she is English. She said, ‘Do I talk like Robbie Burns on Burns day? I do not!’ Truth be told she talks with a definite Kent accent like me…

>They live life with a passion – loving, crying, hurting, investigating, laughing, shouting, stomping, romping at full throttle.

What do kids give you? Everything. If you let them. And they let you!